Eoghan Stokes snatched a deserved point for Bohemians as his last-minute header ensured a dull affair on Shannonside ended in dramatic fashion.
The early stages were nervy as you’d expect – with both sides built to play on the counter. Given they’re so similar, it was no surprise see Limerick and Bohs cancel each other out. That level of appreciation may well have been lost on the near-2,000 crowd as they withstood freezing conditions in Garryowen.
Despite winning the Airtricity Pitch of the Year award in 2016, the Markets Field surface suffered over the winter with a heavy rugby schedule and even heavier rainfall. With nobody particularly shining on the ball, the pitch would provide the most entertaining moment of the opening half, as Brendan Clarke went to deal with a routine backpass. Instead, the bobbled surface forced him to kick thin air. Luckily for him, no Bohs player was in the vicinity to capitalise.
As expected, it would take a mistake to gift an opening goal. Bohs were careless on halfway and Daniel Kearns went on a mazy run. Billy Dennehy provided the supporting run down the right flank and he crossed upon receiving the through ball.
Mark O’Sullivan battled in the air, with the ball eventually falling to captain Shane Duggan at the back post. Duggan fired across the face of goal for the in-rushing Cian Coleman to smash home from inside the six-yard box.
Just as it seemed like Limerick would maintain their 100% start to the season, Bohs began to dominate possession in the Blues half.
As the fourth official held up his board to indicate added time, Eoghan Stokes buried a header into the roof of the net past Brendan Clarke.
Wild celebrations ensued, as Keith Long’s men took a deserved point in what was a cagey affair.
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen; Billy Dennehy, Shane Duggan, Daniel Kearns (Danny Morrissey, 87); Mark O’Sullivan (Connor Ellis, 76).
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Keith Buckley (JJ Lunney, 87), Oscar Brennan (Ian Morris, 76); Paddy Kavanagh (Karl Moore, 68), Philip Gannon, Eoghan Stokes; Dinny Corcoran.
Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford)